I am fortunate to be able to say that in my careers as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and military Veteran I have not been affected directly with a brain injury. I will say that although I have been fortunate not to have sustained a brain injury, I along with most people reading this, have been touched in some way by someone who has.
Over 500,000 Coloradans are living with the effects of an injury to the brain. Life can seem hard and insurmountable without support and guidance. The Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado is the go-to resource for help and services for survivors of an injury to the brain, their families, and providers.
I’m excited to share my commitment to participate in the 2017 Pikes Peak Challenge Summit Hike. When I finish, I will have hiked 13 miles and 7,400 vertical feet to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak. I have volunteered with this event in the past and was truly blessed by the people I interacted with. This year I have decided to complete the Challenge and raise money as a “Forgot Warrior” team. This team is dedicated to the first responders that serve our community, county, state, and even nation on a daily basis. The Forgotten Warriors team name stems from the Nonprofit I am starting called Blue First.
Blue First is going to be a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping first responders and their families deal with PTSD, burnout, and just everyday life. Recent events in the country have added stress and strain to our already tired and worn-out first responders. These responders dedicate their lives on a daily basis to working behind the scenes to keep our families and communities safe. While I feel support is there for high profile cases and events, it is lacking for the everyday stressors that affect these heroes. The idea of Cumulative PTS is coming to the forefront of first responder research and the reality of how many officers, firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, and nurses might be suffering from it is staggering. I feel there is a gap in resources for the heroes that deal with the stressors of the job but are never involved in a high profile event. The mission of Blue First is to provide resources to our first responders who may need assistance in some way.
Please donate now or even join the team and hike up with us (Jesse and I)! This will be a great experience filled with conversations, amazing scenery, and lack of oxygen!